SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Federal health officials Friday issued a warning about the threat of contracting Salmonella from backyard chicken flocks, a lifestyle trend that has been growing among the San Francisco Bay Area tech crowd.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that six cases of Salmonella infections due to backyard flocks have been reported in California so far this year, but did not say whether or not any of the cases were in the Bay Area.
Across the country, North Carolina has had the most reported cases with 17 followed by Louisiana with 8 and 7 each in Michigan, Minnesota and Oklahoma.
of June 1, 124 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella in from 36 states. Of those, 21 have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.
Particularly variable, the CDC said, were children. Of all those cases, 31% have been children younger than 5 years.
Seventy outbreaks of Salmonella infections have been linked to contact with backyard flocks since 2000. In 2017, the CDC reported the largest number of illnesses ever recorded linked to backyard flocks.
People can get sick with Salmonella infections from touching live poultry or their environment. These birds can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean and show no signs of illness.
Follow these tips to stay healthy with your backyard flock:
- Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in their environment.
- Don’t let children younger than 5 years handle or touch live poultry without adult supervision.
- Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of your birds and keep those outside of your home.
- Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.